patriotism

Who Is The Enemy?

Whenever there’s a war on, the vast complexities of the whole wide world become suddenly simple. There’s Our Side over here, and Their Side over there, and Their soldiers are trying to kill Our soldiers; and so, They are The Enemy. If Our soldiers didn’t fight back, they’d get killed, and worse they’d get other people killed; and so it would be cowardice, or even rank treachery. There’s a time for questions like Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong, and that time is not now, because right now there’s someone with a gun and he’s trying to shoot you, and the best you can do is react; thinking will distract you, and that sort of thing will get you killed.

So even posing the question, “Which side is the right side, really, when you come right down to it?” when you’re at war is a form of treason; it’s Letting Your Side Down.

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History: You’re Doing It Wrong

Slavery is not why most men fought in the Civil War.

I’m going to explain this in a moment, but stop a moment and observe:  The first reaction of many people to my initial statement is one of instant and violent rejection.  In these emotionally charged times, fully half of my readers will refuse to go on from here; many more will fail to understand their meaning in the light of their preconceptions.  Some will doubtless accuse me of lying or of deliberately being hateful.

And so let me hasten to clarify:  Slavery was one of the great horrors of history, a crime against (more…)

Pledging My Allegiance

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

That was the text of the Pledge until the mid-1950s, after which some changes were made.  Most of these were (more…)